How do courts decide on financial settlements in divorce?

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Considering going to court for divorce financial settlement in the UK?

Learn more about what this process entails from the expert team of experienced divorce solicitors here at Freeman Jones Legal.

From the costs to the decision-making, we explore every aspect of this process to help you determine the best way forward for your divorce financial settlement.

Does a divorce financial settlement have to go to court?

No, a financial settlement during a divorce does not have to go through the courts.

Ideally, you and your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will be able to come to an agreement using other methods, such as mediation, dispute resolution, and negotiation.

However, if this isn’t possible, then taking court action is a useful legal route to help you reach a fair financial settlement.

How courts decide financial settlement divorce

If you require court support to come to a financial divorce settlement, you will need to apply for a financial order (also referred to as the ‘contested’ route or an ancillary relief order).

While the typical goal is to split the matrimonial assets equally (50/50) between both parties, the court may decide that one party is entitled to a greater share of these assets based on a variety of factors.

This includes their ages, physical and mental disabilities, and their standard of living prior to separating, alongside more influential factors such as their individual income, housing, and resources.

Ultimately, there are no set calculations or rules used to divide a couple’s finances. Instead, the court will try to ensure the needs of both parties are met.

How long does a financial settlement take in court?

Every financial settlement needs to be approved by the court – even when you and your ex-partner can come to an agreement yourselves.

This standard divorce process typically takes between six to eight months from start to finish.

However, if you require court action to act as a mediator and create the financial settlement on your behalf, then this process can take a lot longer, frequently passing the 12-month mark.

How much does it cost to go to court for financial settlement?

Unfortunately, going to court for divorce financial settlement in the UK isn’t free.

Instead, the standard court fee is £275, while legal advisor fees will naturally vary according to the experience of your chosen solicitor and your location.

The total cost of going to court for your financial settlement is therefore often in the region of thousands of pounds, but will also depend on whether you’re entitled to legal aid, how many dispute resolution meetings are required, and whether there’s a final hearing.

Seeking expert financial divorce settlement advice?

Contact Freeman Jones Legal today to discuss your divorce case and financial settlement preferences with our experienced divorce solicitors.

Well-versed in dispute resolution, mediation, skilled negotiation, and court action, we can help you to pursue a fair financial settlement – even if that means presenting your case to the UK courts.

Supporting clients across the UK, we have set up offices in Wrexham, Liverpool, Warrington, and North Wales, so why not pay a visit to one of the leading law firms in Chester to find out how we can help? Alternatively, please feel free to give us a call on 01244 506 444.

You can also get in touch via email and online contact form to book your free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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